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Feb. 28, 2013

Students Remember thier roots at Africa Day Celebration

By Daniel Herda

As part of Black History Month celebration, Africa Day and Remembering My Roots events were held at the Student Center Atrium on Friday, Feb. 22. Faculty from Cleveland State University and students from African countries gave presentations on Africa and its historical connections with the United States.

The African Students Association (ASA) decorated the event, covering tables with red, green and yellow tablecloths, representing the colors of national flags from African countries, such as Mali, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, Cameroon and the Congo.
Sokhna Seck, vice president of the ASA and a Cleveland State student, helped coordinate the event. Seck is from Senegal and spoke about her ASA responsibilities.
“My job is to assist the president in overseeing the affairs of the organization and to help plan events,” Seck said.

The event opened with a humorous and sensitive film about relationships. The movie presented people confessing to the audience about how their culture affects those they love and what they have learned from their own experiences.
Professor Abu Nasara, director for Educational Technologies, gave a slideshow presentation on his most recent trip to his homeland of Nigeria and spoke about the importance of connecting cultures.

“I teach technology classes here, and when I visit Nigeria I fix the technological issues at my old school, I try to stress the message that we are all the same,” Nasara said.
Nasara’s slideshow featured pictures of his large family (his extended clan), children at his school and anthills that reached more than 15 feet from the ground.

Dr. Barbara Hoffman, professor and director of the Visual Anthropology Center, spoke about the history of African culture with a lecture on African families and how deep their roots are.

“Western ideas about kin and love are very different in Africa, a clan of family members can last for generations because so many people are in it,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman mentioned that the sizeable gathering inside the Student Center Atrium lacked a larger number of Cleveland State students, and she was expecting a more diverse crowd.

“I wish more people had invested some of their educational energy in learning about Africa because it is the motherland of us all,” Hoffman said.
The ASA plans to host African Night, an evening of music and dancing, on April 5, and encourages Cleveland State students to get involved in the upcoming event.